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kids?

Minneapolis...
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kids?

We are planning a trip to Honduras (specifically Roatan) and would like to bring our baby who will be 3 months at the time.

Is this a safe area?

Is there anything we should be concerned about?

I wander the world
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3,965 posts
24 reviews
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1. Re: kids?

I know very little about children but I would be very concerned about the bugs and the nastiness they carry. Malaria comes to mind.

Saint-Cloud, France
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2. Re: kids?

Malaria is rare, very rare in Roatan. We are going this spring with our two-year old and will not be taking any malaria precaution. Places like India, yes.

roatan
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3. Re: kids?

When my Grandkids came down at 3 months old it was perfect because they're not eating food yet so no worries about anything being ingested. They did bring a great mosquito net and used it over the play yard and the stroller. Much easier to control their safety when they're not mobile yet. Now a 2 year old is a different story! I'd check at home for child-safe bug spray and just keep them covered.

With the proper precautions you will all have a blast I'm sure.

Bonnie

Minneapolis...
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4. Re: kids?

Well, Josh... there is malaria on Roatan and I wouldn't describe it as "rare, very rare." I'm afraid the statistics are incomplete at best and falsified or covered up at worst. I think we can agree it is not a high malaria risk area... but there is a malaria risk. People on the island report it being treated with some regularity in the clinics and every year tourists report diagnoses of malaria after returning home. Not a lot... but some. Certainly not common... but I don't know that the alternative to common is necessarily rare.

And, of course... if you are the victim of something that has odds of 1/100,000 or 1 in a million - you still have the disease!

As a parent, you have to balance that risk against the fun you will have on the vacation. The kid won't know, except from the pictures and perhaps a stamp on a passport, that they've ever been to Roatan.

It would be very irresponsable to take a child into a malaria zone, no matter what the severity of the risk, with NO precautions. There are two approaches. Either you use medication for prevention and then make careful efforts to avoid mosquito bites... or you don't use medication and you make careful efforts to avoid mosquito bites.

This is not a medical forum... you should discuss any prescription prevention stuff with a doctor. I probably know more about specific regions and drugs than my GP, but the Twin Cities has several really good travel clinics and the docs there really do know a lot about travel medicine. At three months, if the child is still nursing, then there is the additional concern if the mother takes a medication.

Bonnie, with long experience living on the island, outlines what every reasonable parent will do - nets and/or mosquito repellants to protect the child as much as possible from mosquito bites.

Since the malaria mosquitos are most active in the evening and at night, extra precautions are reasonable to keep the kid away from bites. It also depends on when you plan to travel. Mosquitos, and thus the chances of contracting malaria, go up in wet season and down in the dry season.

There are bug repellants that provide more protection without necessarily exposing the child to more absorption of the active chemicals. There are some concerns about the amount of DEET a child will be exposed to. Bonnie mentioned a spray. I prefer a lotion. The one we use is available in stores in Minnesota... Sawyer Controlled Release Family Insect Repellent Lotion. Instead of using a higher concentration of DEET, is uses a lower percentage with a time-release mechanism. I haven't checked it's label for use on a 3 month-old infant, but I think this would be a good place to start. 3M also makes time release products under it's Ultrathon label.

Burlington, Canada
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5. Re: kids?

"Malaria is rare, very rare in Roatan". I strongly disagree with this statement. Case in point...there was a post on this forum in 2010 reporting that 2 out of the 3 people in their travel party got malaria. The travel party consisted of two girlfriends and the one girl's boyfriend. As I understand the report the two girls stayed up most nights talking on the balcony until 2am or so (I am suspecting without a layer of deet on)....but the boyfriend just went to bed earlier each night and left the girls to their catch up chatting...Guess what??? The two girls BOTH got malaria. The boyfriend didn't.

Burlington, Canada
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6. Re: kids?

As Bonnie suggested if bringing the little one I would definitely keep the baby protected by a mosquito net at all times. Bonnie lives in Roatan though. You would be on holidays. I think you have to weigh out what you are going to be doing on the holidays with having to keep the baby under a mosquito net 24/7. Wouldn't be my idea of a holiday.

roatan
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287 posts
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7. Re: kids?

Unless I've forgotten something I believe most 3 month old babies are either being worn by Mom or Dad, in a play yard, baby seat or stroller. Makes it much easier to cover them with netting than when they're mobile.

Perhaps this particular 3 month old is unique though....just like my Grandkidlets ;)

When little people come to visit I find the younger the easier :)

Cheers

Bonnie

Vancouver, B.C.
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8. Re: kids?

Malaria is not very, very rare on Roatan nor any other tropical destination in Central America/Caribbean. There are cases of malaria and dengue. Last I checked Costa Rica had the most reported cases in the region.

I second idiot's comments-this is not a medical forum. Travel clinics are best equipped to give advice and recommendations. My wife is from the island and some her immediate family have had malaria over the years. Our 10 year old did get dengue when he was 4. We travel every year to visit family and have our vacation (if it's possible to visit family and have a vacation) and we do take preventative measures. I think my wife is perhaps quite careful in this regard because of her experience growing up on the island and with our son.

Accommodation that has a/c or screened windows to keep you cool at night if needed and protected from insects is important (obvious, but perhaps overlooked at times).

Our family loves Roatan, just remember the sunscreen and the repellent.

Your family will have a wonderful time.

Minneapolis...
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9. Re: kids?

Bonnie-

You said you live there, correct? Can you please tell me about the medical facilities? Would we be able to find an American dr if need be?

Also, what would you suggest in terms of travel items for a baby? Should we bring our own diapers/ baby supplies or can those be purchased there?

Thank you so much for your help!!

NJ
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256 posts
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10. Re: kids?

There is an American facility at Anthony's Key Resort. We took my 5 year old son there - but as well - there is a wonderful Dr. in French Harbor.

As far as baby supplies - there are two "major" gorcery stores on the island that carry all you need - "Eldin's" - just bring netting for the skeeto's and sunscreen - you will have a great time!!!